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Carmelo Anthony rests sore knee, hopes to avoid surgery

Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks looks on late in a game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

SAN ANTONIO - Carmelo Anthony took Wednesday night off to rest his sore left knee, and hopes to do everything he can to avoid eventually having surgery.

But Anthony said that possibility has come up.

"I think any time you're dealing with something like an injury to the knee, shoulder, anything like that, that that will always be a solution, an option, but that was the last, last option," Anthony said.

"I'll explore as many other options as I can before I go under the knife and get surgery. We really don't know exactly what's the problem."

The Knicks also were without J.R. Smith because of a sore left heel. X-rays of Smith's heel were negative.

Anthony said the knee has been bothering him since the second game of the season, and for the most part he's been able to play through it. But he was getting it worked on before and after Tuesday's game in New Orleans.

He looked limited in the Knicks' 11-point loss to the Pelicans. Anthony took just 11 shots and scored 17 points with no assists. Anthony is averaging 22.9 points, nearly three points below his career total.

"I think overall it's impacting him quite a bit," Derek Fisher said.

Anthony got treatment Wednesday. He said he's not sure how long he'll be out. Fisher hopes Anthony can play Friday in Boston. Anthony said they need to figure out what's wrong and the best way to deal with it, and there are no immediate plans to undergo further tests.

"I'm going to sit down with the team, with the doctors, just try to figure it out," Anthony said. "Sit down with the coaches, just try to figure it out.

"It's just a matter of getting to the bottom of it and seeing what's the problem. What I'm hearing is it won't get any worse, but it won't get any better, so it's just a matter of how much pain I can take while I'm out there playing. Some days are better than others."

Anthony is in the first year of a five-year, $124-million contract. If the Knicks continue to lose games at the rate they have, it might make sense to sit out longer or have surgery.

But Anthony has played through pain. Two years ago, he led the Knicks to the second round of the playoffs while playing with a partially torn labrum and rotator cuff in his left shoulder.

He missed two games this month with back spasms and the rest helped him. He's hoping something like that happens again. "Most important is his health overall," Fisher said. "So whatever decision he needs to make to make sure that's a priority, we support that 100 percent."

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